Local Press Releases

Harris calls on McGuinty to fire Health Minister over refusal to fix EMS

August 30, 2012

QUEEN’S PARK — The Health Minister’s rejection of a sound local solution to fix serious EMS dispatching problems in Waterloo Region provides more than enough grounds for Deb Matthews’ immediate dismissal, Kitchener-Conestoga MPP Michael Harris said at Queen’s Park today.

Harris hammered the Minister during Question Period for completely mismanaging Ornge; wasting $2 billion of taxpayers’ money on the Liberal government’s failed eHealth pet project and for ignoring the concerns of local experts, leaders, fire fighters, police officers and paramedics in Waterloo Region.

“I’ve been calling on the Health Minister since May to address the Region of Waterloo’s proposal to streamline local emergency dispatching by handing over control of the service to regional officials,” Harris said. “But every time, the Minister refuses. Clearly, she’s more concerned with retaining control of a service she’s bungled for years than engaging a reasonable solution to save lives in Waterloo Region.”

The Region of Waterloo has been asking the Minister of Health since February for the go ahead to create a centralized regionally operated dispatch centre.

Local officials believe the measure would shave two precious minutes off response times – which in the case of a heart attack or stroke could be the difference between life and death.

Harris demanded Premier Dalton McGuinty show some real leadership for the people of Waterloo Region and fire Matthews today. Instead, the Premier defended his Minister.

“I’m disappointed that the Premier has refused to act on this important issue by taking real steps to ensure someone is in charge at the Ministry of Health who understands the needs of Waterloo Region,” Harris said. “I’ll continue to fight for my constituents and stand up for the people of Waterloo Region while John Milloy, the Liberal MPP for Kitchener-Centre, remains seated, toeing the party line and serving the Premier instead of his constituents.”